If you didn’t already know, parallel bars are not just tools used by Olympians to look like super humans, and you don’t have to be a professional gymnast to use them either. Of course, if you are a gymnast, then a good set of parallel bars is definitely a requirement for your training, but in all reality, anybody can use a good set of parallel bars and reap their benefits.
These things take a lot of strength, determination, and effort to master, but they also go a long way in making you a fitter and healthier person. Obviously, you don’t want to waste your money and buy a sub-par set of parallel bars, which is why we are here to do some parallel bar reviews, to help you find the best parallel bars that your money can buy.
Summary: The Best Parallel Bars
What Are Parallel Bars?
Parallel bars consist of 2 horizontal rails, usually at around waist level, which are supported by 2 vertical posts on either side. These are the things that Olympians use on TV to do some of those ridiculous exercises that normal people probably can’t do. That is of course unless you purchase your own set and get training!
What To Look For In Parallel Bars – How To Choose Them
Parallel bars are one of those pieces of exercise equipment that are not very cheap. Sure, they don’t cost quite as much as a home gym, but for a quality item, you will spend 100 dollars at the very least. So, to make sure that you don’t get something you don’t want or won’t end up using, here are some of the most important things to look out for before you make any purchase.
Right off the bat one of the most important considerations to keep in mind is the weight limit of the parallel bars in question. This will most likely depend on the particular model that you get. Some parallel bars are individual bars with no center connection. While this may make them more versatile, they will also have a lower weight limit as opposed to a conventional set of parallel bars which are connected in the middle.
A conventional set of parallel bars will have an extremely high weight limit and may be able to hold up several thousand pounds, which in all likelihood is probably unnecessary. On the other hand, unconnected parallel bars may have a weight limit as low as 300 or 350 pounds. This really does depend on your own needs and your own figure so make sure to make the right choice here.
Going off of our last consideration, you will have to decide between the specific types of parallel bars that you get. There is the fully connected kind like you see in the Olympics. These are by far the strongest type of parallel bars and they offer you the ability to perform full-fledged parallel bar exercises, but the range of exercises that can be done with them is fairly limited.
Then there are the individual parallel bars where the set comes with two separate bars that are not attached in the middle. These function better as general exercise tools and they do offer a wider array of possible exercises than the conventional set of parallel bars. However, one place where they are lacking is with their ability to perform parallel bar swings like Olympians do, which is because their detached nature makes them susceptible to moving apart from each other, plus they are also not as stable as the conventional models.
This is also a matter of personal preference and what you need them to do. If you are training for the Olympics then you will without a doubt want to spring for a more conventional attached set, but if you want them for general exercise, then a detached set will probably do just fine.
Base & Feet
Something else you need to consider before buying any set of parallel bars is what the base is like, or more specifically, the feet. The parallel bars you get need to have a wide base with long feet in order to provide you with as much stability as possible when doing intense exercises. This is especially true for models which are not attached in the center as they tend to be far less stable than the alternative. Moreover, the base should be equipped with rubber feet in order to prevent the bars from moving across the ground as well as to stop your floor from being damaged by the metal feet.
Something else to keep in mind is whether or not the parallel bars are adjustable. Simply put, being able to adjust their height and width will increase the range of exercises you can do with them, plus it is also convenient for cases where more than one person will be using them. Keep in mind that options like this will slightly increase the amount of money you will be spending.
Finally, you also want to pay attention to the grips. Generally speaking, newer detached models will come with some kind of rubber or foam grips to prevent slipping and to keep your hands comfortable. However, more conventional parallel bars will only have the metal bars without grips, just like the ones Olympians use.
The Benefits of Parallel Bars
Parallel bars are a pretty specialized piece of exercise equipment, one best suited for people training in gymnastics or the Olympics, which is of course a benefit in its own right. A good set of parallel bars will help you train for the big day where the gold medal is on the line. However, there are also a few other benefits that you can get from using parallel bars on a regular basis.
Benefit #1: Strength
These things are all about strength, especially upper body and core strength. It takes a whole lot of power to do those Olympic swings, dips, chest dips, L-sits, leg lifts, inverted pushups, pull ups, and all of those other exercises that can be done with parallel bars. The bottom line is that these things are fantastic for training upper body, arm, shoulder, back, and core strength all at the same time.
Benefit #2: Coordination
Another thing that parallel bars can help you with is to increase your coordination. This is because many parallel bar exercises involve rapidly switching position and taking your hands off the bars momentarily, which means that you also have to put them back on. At the end of the day, this will help train your coordination by forcing your hands to connect with the bars in order to stay upright.
Benefit #3: Endurance
If you use parallel bars the way that they are supposed to be used, as in the full Olympic routine, you can bet your bottom dollar that you will get a ridiculous cardio workout. We aren’t going to get into all of the benefits that come with a cardio workout routine, but you can rest assured that you will want to take advantage of them. Moreover, the combination of strength and cardio training will definitely help increase your overall endurance and physical performance.
Parallel Bars Reviews
These are some really neat parallel bars that allow for a wide range of exercises to be done with them. They are very strong and durable, highly adjustable, and quite comfortable to use too. Anybody looking for a good set of parallel bars would be more than happy with this model from Barbarian.
Without a doubt, the best part about the design of these parallel bars is that they are very highly adjustable. These bars are individual bars, meaning that the left and right side are not connected to each other. This gives you the option of using both bars together like a classic parallel bar for gymnastic exercises such as L-sits, dips, and more, or using them separately (one at a time), which lets you use it as a low hanging pull up or chin up bar.
Moreover, you can adjust their height from 75 cm, to 90 cm, all the way to 110 cm. This helps to give you more exercise options than ever before and lets you use the Barbarian Parallel bars from on top or underneath them. The highly adjustable and versatile nature of this particular model of parallel bars definitely makes them a prime choice for all.
Something else that makes these parallel bars ideal for most people is the fact that they are made out of extremely strong tube steel. Their build ensures that the frame can easily hold up 400 pounds without risk of bending or buckling under your weight.
What is also great about the Barbarian Parallel Bars is that each bar has very long feet equipped with non-slip feet. This helps ensure ultimate stability and a wobble free exercise routine, plus it helps stop lateral movement across the ground, and it stops scuff marks in their tracks too.
Finally, the bars themselves come equipped with high-density rubber non-slip foam grips. These grips make it extremely easy to hold onto the bars without slipping off, plus they help keep your hands comfortable and blister free as well. All things said and done, these bars make for a great choice indeed, not to mention that assembling them is a breeze too.
Value for money
For under 170 dollars you really can’t go wrong with this set of Parallel Bars from Barbarian. That is a very reasonable price to be paying for such a high-end piece of equipment, one that is extremely versatile and allows for so many different exercise choices. The value also comes with the fact that these things are very durable too.
The build quality of the Barbarian Parallel Bars is quite superior when compared to other cheaper models on the market today. These things have a good steel tube construction that can withstand 400 pounds of user weight, they are easy to put together, very stable to use, and the foam grips just help add to the quality even more.
Another very versatile parallel bar choice you should consider is the CoreX Functional Fitness Parallette Dip Station. These things are built to last, but they were also built to provide you with a very versatile workout experience too. If you are looking for an affordable quality product, then this is a great option no doubt.
Something that you will definitely appreciate about the CoreX Functional Fitness Parallette Dip Station is that it functions as a normal set of parallel bars, but it can also do so much more. The individual nature of the bars (as opposed to being attached to each other like normal parallel bars) lets you use them either individually or together to do exercises. You can use both of them together just like normal parallel bars for L-sits, dips, and much more.
However, you can also use one bar individually as a low hanging pull up bar. It doesn’t end there because you can also decide to attach the hanging straps in order to account for push up like exercises too. The versatility and large variety of exercises that can be done with the CoreX Functional Fitness Parallette Dip Station are definitely a big bonus. There is also the fact that you can turn one single bar on its side for even more exercise options than ever before.
Even better is the fact that both the hanging straps and the normal bar grips both feature soft foam handles. These handles make gripping easier than ever and they help to provide your hands with pain free comfort as well. Moreover, the straps can be easily attached and detached in a number of seconds for your convenience.
These parallel bars are very rugged and built with solid steel tubing in order to ensure that they last for as long as they are in your home. The strong build of these bars lets them hold up to 450 pounds with ease, which is very impressive indeed.
There is also the fact that the base of the CoreX Parallette Dip Station is built extra wide and long in order to ensure ultimate stability. To add to the stability even more, the base also comes equipped with angled rubber boots to reduce lateral movement and to prevent the scuffing of your floor.
Value for money
Paying less than 100 dollars for this awesome pair of parallel bars is a very low price for such a quality item. The CoreX bars are very affordable, yet they still retain a whole lot of quality and durability, not to mention that they let you do a wide variety of exercises, plus they come with hanging straps included too, all for one very low price.
The build quality of this particular set of dip bars is nothing to look down your nose at. These things offer you extreme stability, they are very comfortable to use, they can hold up a ridiculous amount of weight, and they will last for years to come. For under 100 dollars you really can’t complain about the build quality one bit.
The TDS Parallel Bars are a good pair of basic bars which are extremely strong and rugged, easy to assemble, simple to use, and fairly affordable too. If you want to practice your gymnastics routine, then these bars are definitely a prime choice to go with.
The TDS Parallel Bars make for a perfect home gymnastics training tool and that is partially thanks to their great size. The bars themselves are roughly 4 feet off the ground, making them great for full-fledged bar exercises such as inside rack rows, dips, muscle ups, Russian dips, lat dips, swings, and much more.
Moreover, the whole thing is still small enough to fit in a pretty tight space such as your garage or a small home gym. Plus, the whole thing only takes a few minutes to assemble, and when totally put together it weighs roughly 70 pounds, thus making it fairly easy to move the TDS Parallel bars from one spot to another.
Furthermore, the bars themselves are designed to be slip free so that you can comfortably exercise with them without fear of crashing down to the ground. Speaking of non-slip, the base of the TDS Parallel bars is equipped with non-slip rubber feet to stop it from moving across the ground as you exercise, also they help to stop the floor from being scuffed up.
The base itself is also built wide and is equipped with long feet, all in order to provide as much stability as possible. You don’t want your parallel bars to tip over mid swing, and this TDS model takes care of that problem very well.
Finally, the TDS Parallel Bars are built with heavy-duty 2-inch square tubes for ultimate durability. These things will last for a lifetime and can literally hold up as much weight as your human body can throw at them.
Value for money
For around 250 dollars you really can’t complain about the value you get with the TDS Parallel Bars. They are about as strong as this type of equipment can get, they are built to last, they are comfortable to use, and easy to put together too. Value is definitely not an issue with these parallel bars.
The same goes for the build quality of the TDS Parallel Bars as for the value. Being able to hold up any amount of weight simply screams quality, and the very stable base, the non-slip bars, and all other awesome features of these bars make them absolutely perfect for virtually anybody.
If you are looking for an affordable parallel bar set for your home, then the Lebert Fitness Equalizer is definitely a choice to consider. These are a basic set of bars that will do the trick no doubt. They may not be the fanciest or have the most features out of all options, but when it comes to dips and L-sits they will get the job done.
We actually like the fact that these are some very basic parallel bars because while they don’t offer all that many exercise choices, they are very sturdy and will definitely stand up to any routine you can throw at them. They are made with steel tubing to ensure that they won’t buckle under your weight.
These are two individual bars, each of which only weighs 8 pounds, thus making them easy to move around and easy to store, plus their stackable design makes storage a breeze too. Even though it does not weigh very much, the Lebert Fitness Equalizer can support up to 400 pounds, making them some very durable bars indeed. These parallel bars also come with a fairly wide base to offer a certain amount of stability, not to mention that the rubber feet stop the bars from moving across the floor too much, and they help stop scuff marks from happening too.
These bars are perfect for L-sits and all kinds of dips when used together. However, they do offer a certain amount of versatility in the sense that they can be used individually as low hanging pull up bars. Moreover, each of the bars has a comfortable foam grip which keeps you from slipping off the bars while using them, plus they help to keep your hands pain and blister free as well.
All in all, the Lebert Fitness Equalizer makes for a great parallel bar option for any home gym, not to mention that it also comes with a fitness poster and an instructional exercise DVD as well.
Value for money
For something like 100 bucks you really can’t complain about the value you get for the price of this parallel bar set. It is a very low price to be paying for such a quality item and while it may not be the fanciest or most advanced piece of equipment around, it will definitely help train your strength, cardio, and gymnastic skills too.
The build quality of the Lebert Fitness Equalizer is very solid indeed. These things can support up to 400 pounds of user weight and have definitely been built to last. They are easy to set up, easy to move around and store, they offer you with good comfort and stability, and their solid frame makes them more durable than ever.
This is one of the more unique parallel bar choices out there. This thing has quite an unconventional design, but that does not mean that it is not effective at its job. While the Ultimate Body Press Dip Bar Station cannot really be used as a conventional set of parallel bars, it does have a few neat features such as the added resistance that make it a great choice for home workout enthusiasts.
First of all, this particular model is built with 1.5-inch steel tubing to ensure its strength. It can easily hold up to 350 pounds without risk of breaking or bending, thus making it perfect for some of the larger people out there. This thing also has a fairly wide base to help add to its stability so it won’t wobble or move around too much during use, plus it also has good rubber feet to prevent lateral movement and the scuffing of your floor.
We really like this model because it uses an open frame concept which gives you much more room to work with. Moreover, the base of the Ultimate Body Press Dip Bar Fitness Station is extendable to increase stability even more, not to mention that it helps provide you with a wide variety of workout options too. The base can be easily extended or shortened in a matter of minutes for your convenience.
This item can be used for multiple exercises such as triceps dips, chest dips, inverted pushups, L-sits, knee raises, and much more. You can exercise above, below, or in the middle of this parallel bar dip station in order to get as many exercises out of it as possible. The bars themselves also come equipped with foam grips to ensure good traction and comfort for the duration of your workout routine.
What is also really neat about this dip station is that it comes with special resistance bands that can be attached to the base. These add up to 60 pounds of resistance to any exercise that you do, thus letting you increase your strength in a much shorter time period. This thing even comes with a separate agility trainer than can be used individually from the bar.
Value for money
For somewhere around 130 dollars you really can’t go wrong with the Ultimate Body Press Dip Bar Station. While it cannot really be used in the same way as a conventional parallel bar set, it does come with a number of great features that allow you to increase your strength and agility with ease. The included agility trainer and resistance bands definitely make this item more than worth the price.
The build quality of this item is quite good. The 1.5-inch steel tubing offers up to 350 pounds of weight capacity, which is not the most out there, but it is still pretty high. Moreover, the wide adjustable base, comfortable hand grips, and extra accessories all make it a quality item no doubt.
As you can see, there are many different benefits that come along with using parallel bars, not to mention that there are a large variety of parallel bar options too. The best parallel bars will be those that suit your needs the best and let you train the way you want.
A lot of what goes into choosing a good set will depend on what you need them for and what your capabilities are. Simply remember to keep our top considerations in mind, weigh your needs against the features of the bars in question, and make a thoughtful choice based on all of the alternatives.
We would definitely recommend looking at one of the above options because they are by far some of the best choices in terms of parallel bars for your home.
Any questions or concerns you may have about buying or using parallel bars are always more than welcome!